Texas Sen. Ted Cruz admitted his decision to leave the state amid a deadly power crisis to take a vacation to Cancun was “obviously a mistake,” The Associated Press reports.
Cruz was photographed boarding a jet to Cancun on Wednesday but quickly flew back to Houston the following morning amid widespread outrage as millions of Texans were left without electricity and water, in part because of decades of Republican deregulation.
“It was obviously a mistake, and in hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it,” Cruz said upon his return.
Cruz blamed his daughters for the trip, saying they wanted to go to Mexico with their friends and school had been canceled.
“Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon,” Cruz wrote.
Cruz admitted that he was scheduled to stay in Cancun through the weekend but came back in response to the blowback.
“I didn’t want all the screaming and yelling about this trip to distract even one moment from the real issues that I think Texans care about, which is keeping all of our families safe,” he said.
Even his own party refused to defend his trip.
“That’s something that he has to answer to his constituents about,” Texas GOP Chairman Allen West told reporters. “I’m here trying to take care of my family and look after my friends and others that are still without power. That’s my focus.”
Leaked texts reveal planning:
Despite Cruz blaming his daughters, leaked text messages show that his wife Heidi took the initiative in planning the trip after the couple’s power went out.
Heidi Cruz said in a group text that their house was “FREEZING” and asked her friends if they wanted to join them at the Ritz-Carlton in Cancun.
“Anyone can or want to leave for the week?” she wrote. “We may go to Cancún.” She noted that there was a “direct flight” and “hotels w capacity. Seriously.”
None of her friends appeared to agree to join.
Texas crisis continues:
Though millions of Texans have had their power restored, many have not. Millions more are under an indefinite boil water advisory as well.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which powers about 90% of Texas’ power grid, said that it will come out of emergency conditions on Friday.
ERCOT officials said that the power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from catastrophic failure that would have left Texans without electricity for months.
The decision to implement rolling blackouts which soon turned into days of power outages was made after natural gas, coal, and wind plants went offline due to extreme cold and left the state without adequate power supply.
Had officials not acted quickly, the state could have suffered blackouts that “could have occurred for months,” and left Texas in an “indeterminately long” crisis.